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Photo of the Day

August 1 - San Francisco

Today's Photo of the Day is sure to get a laugh from everybody but the owner of the boat whose spinnaker got just a little bit too close to a day marker in the Oakland Estuary. Even a parsimonious skipper would have to admit that this chute is beyond repair. The photo was taken by Eliza B. Eagle, who also reported there was a pre-race collision in last Wednesday's Oakland YC Beer Can race. We're not sure if skippers are being too aggressive or what, but doesn't it seem like there's been a few too many collisions in these 'for fun' beer can races? After all, playing 'bumper boats' can ruin half your season.

Photo Eliza B. Eagle

August Issue Hits the Stands

August 1 - All Over

Photo Latitude/Annie

Yes, hot off the press and with even more color than last month, the August issue of Latitude is being delivered as we set up this web page. Enjoy!

Oh No, World's Largest Sailboat Slams into London Bridge as Owner and Interior Designer Look Elsewhere!

August 1 - London

Photo Courtesy Tom Perkins

When an interior design office has been working feverishly on a boat for years - such as the 287-ft modern schooner Maltese Falcon that Belvedere's Tom Perkins will be launching in the upcoming months - you can imagine that they might get a little whacky from time to time. Which explains, we suppose, their creating this photo that depicts Maltese Falcon, soon to be the largest privately-owned sailing yacht in the world, slamming into the Tower Bridge in London, while owner Tom Perkins, left, and interior designer Ken Freivokh, right, look elsewhere for the source of the noise. Fortunately, it represents fantasy rather than reality.

Although Maltese Falcon will be launched in Istanbul before the end of the year, she's too complex of a yacht, and her sails and rig are so unique, that she won't be coming across the Atlantic this winter. Perkins did tell us, however, that someday he hopes to have her sailing on San Francisco Bay.

Our Swedish Cruise on the Pacific Coast of Mexico

August 1 - Redwood City

Any cruiser will tell you that one of the best - if not the best - parts of cruising is that you meet so many wonderful people. For example, when Dave and Merry Wallace were cruising Mexico in 2001-02 aboard their Redwood City-based Amel Maramu 46 Air Ops, they shared an anchorage south of Puerto Vallarta with Craig and Katherine Briggs, who just happened to own the sistership Sangaris. While the Wallaces had to return to the Bay Area, the Briggs kept going - through the Canal, to Florida, across the Atlantic - and even spent a winter living aboard in the shadow of the - not again - Tower of London Bridge. Having kept in touch all along, the Wallaces got an invitation to join the Briggs for 10 days of cruising in Denmark and Sweden. Which is why we're publishing these photos of the Kronberg Castle, and of Sangaris being moored off a low island in Sweden. Anchoring would be tricky in Sweden if the Swedish Cruising Club hadn't installed 5,000 - not a typo - moorings around their country.

While the Wallace's boat is still stuck in the Bay Area, they're not about to miss out on the chance of meeting more far-ranging cruisers in Mexico. So they'll be crewing with Ron and Anita on Liberty Call II in this year's Ha-Ha. If you want to hear more about cruising Denmark and Sweden, stop by the Ha-Ha Preview at Two Harbors, Catalina, on August 13, for the Wallaces will be there, too.

Kronberg Castle

Sangaris moored in Sweden
Photos Dave Wallace

Making the Ha-Ha Affordable For Boatowners

August 1 - The Cruising World

"It seems to me," writes Michelle Slade, "that there are definitely more people without boats than with boats who want to do the Ha-Ha. I, for example, don't have a boat, but I'm one of the many patiently waiting to find a berth so that I also can have some sailing fun starting October 31."

In chatting with some boatowners, it quickly became clear that many of them would love to do the Ha-Ha if: 1) They didn't have to spend a lot of extra money, and/or 2) Others chipped in to help with the expense of outfitting the boat, insurance, and/ or delivering the boat back to Northern California.

I'm trying to write an article on how inexpensively one can do a Ha-Ha, either by not buying much new gear and getting lots of help from the crew, or by having the crew help carry some of the financial load. So if you have experience in this respect, I'd love to hear from you. Please send a few brief details and a way to contact you to: Michelle, via email.

What's the Deal With My Yamaha?

August 1 - The Sailing World

"Profligate has had the same 15-hp Yamaha outboard since she was new nearly eight years ago," says Dona de Mallorca. "I love that engine, as it's served me reliably from the Napa River, to all over Southern California, to Mexico, to Colombia, and for an entire winter while on the hook in St. Barth. Despite lots of use - and much abuse from the Wanderer - it's beginning to have a little trouble. Yes, we've got a back-up outboard all ready to go, but the thing is, I love this beat up old Yamaha 15. So maybe some of you outboard experts could give me a couple of tips about what's ailing the engine.

The problem is that it always wants a lot of choke. Even on a warm day, you have to have the choke a third of the way on or it will sputter and die. And even then, you can only give it a high idle amount of fuel, or it will also sputter and die.
I've cleaned out the filters, got fresh gas, changed the spark plugs, taken the carburetor apart five times - it's really easy after the first time - but I've still got an ailing engine. From time to time the engine runs like a bat out of hell before bogging down again from what seems like too much fuel and not enough air, so I know it's something that can be fixed. What haven't I done that I should have?"

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